With Yahoo’s recent acquisition of Tumblr, many Tumblr users feared an increase in advertising on their beloved social network. Tumblr is wildly popular among 18-24 year olds, thanks in large part to the absence of ads. While more ads and sponsored posts have slowly started rolling out, it’s possible for brands to be successful on Tumblr without buying ads and alienating Tumblr users. All you have to do is adopt Tumblr’s culture!
Some brands do well on Tumblr effortlessly. Publications like GQ and Vogue already cater to the crowd that is on Tumblr, so their success is natural. Everyone loves Disney, so Disney and Pixar don’t have to do much more than post stills from their movies to get reblogs and likes. And since there is a huge fashion following on Tumblr, clothing brands like Mod Cloth, Urban Outfitters, and Target fit right in. So with those brands aside, let’s take a look at some brands that had to work a little harder to gain popularity on Tumblr by successfully integrating the site’s culture into their Tumblr presence.
Honorable Mention: Bisquick
You probably didn’t expect to see Bisquick on this list, but alas, here they are! Why only honorable mention, you ask? Well, since Bisquick just launched their Tumblr last month, there’s not really a whole lot to go on. However, the brand’s Tumblr page shows a lot of promise because of their animated GIFs, vintage advertisements, and perhaps most popularly, their Mancakes campaign. The Mancakes campaign consists of image memes similar to the Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl” memes, except with attractive men servin’ up pancakes. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Redbull is no stranger to dominating social media, so it should come as no surprise that they showed up on this list. I put them in 7th place because while their blog is popular and captivating, they don’t really do much to appeal specifically to the Tumblr culture. Regardless, their blog does capture the Redbull brand and based on all of the notes on their posts, their Tumblr is very successful. They post a lot of awesome pictures of extreme sports, inspirational quotes, and of course pictures of Redbull.
Ben & Jerry’s get a few more points than Redbull because they post more content geared specifically toward Tumblr users. Plus, their page is bright, colorful, and captures the spirit of Ben & Jerry’s and ice cream in general. You can’t really go wrong on Tumblr with a bunch of pictures of Ice Cream, but Ben & Jerry’s also goes above and beyond by posting photos of employees in action behind the scenes and creating their own graphics. One of their smartest moves is supporting the LGBTQ community because the majority of Tumblr users are in support of LGBTQ rights. For example, they’ve posted the following image on Tumblr:
With the huge artist community on Tumblr, it’s no surprise that Sharpie thrives there. In addition to posting original content Sharpie also succeeds on Tumblr because of how much they embrace fan art and promote artists. From reblogging to accepting submissions, Sharpie shows off all of their fans who post artwork made with Sharpies. This is a win-win because it gets fans and artists publicity while showcasing the quality of Sharpie’s markers and pens.
Since Barbie is a children’s toy, you might not have expected Mattel and Barbie to perform well with the 18-24 crowd, but Barbie’s Tumblr blog is successful. From videos and animated GIFs from Barbie’s “Life in the Dreamhouse” Youtube series, to motivational quote graphics and throwback Thursday photos of older versions of Barbie, Mattel is doing everything right with Barbie’s blog. Besides posting their own original content, Barbie also reblogs girly motivational quotes that are relevant to the Barbie audience on Tumblr. Overall, Barbie’s Tumblr is delightfully pink, filled with nostalgia for all of the 90s kids currently on Tumblr, and it’s personal and fun.
3. General Mills
Here’s another one you probably weren’t expecting to see on the list. Cereal isn’t exactly a captivating subject, but General Mills has made it fun and appealing to the Tumblr community with their Hello, Cereal Lovers blog. I was blown away by all of the creative original content they post. They use cereal creatively to make fun graphics for holidays, post delicious recipes, and even unique DIY projects made using cereal boxes. They also post throwback Thursday photos of old cereal boxes and lots of animated GIFs.
This one isn’t as much of a shocker as some of the others, because Coke is another brand that consistently nails it on social media. Regardless, Coke really goes above and beyond most other brands on Tumblr – particularly in the animated GIF department. But besides animated GIFs Coke also posts cute or funny image memes, speak Tumblr’s language, and reblog fan photos of Coke products. Take a look at how Coke is using GIFs:
Yes, you read that correctly. The best brand Tumblr is the one that you would have least expected – none other than Denny’s. Then again, upon closer inspection maybe it’s not as surprising as you thought. Take the internet’s love of bacon and combine it with Tumblr’s love of snark, and you’ve got the Denny’s Tumblr. As far as appealing to the Tumblr audience goes, Denny’s does everything right. Denny’s posts hilarious, witty text posts, answers fan questions, embraces fan art by accepting submissions, and creates their own funny image memes and animated GIF. Overall, it’s the perfect recipe for Tumblr success. You can’t go wrong with memes, GIFs, bacon, and “Mean Girls” quotes on Tumblr, and Denny’s has it all! Just take a look at the gems below if you need proof.
As you can see from these brands, by simply modifying your branding efforts to appeal to the users on Tumblr, your brand can be successful. Tumblr is a micro-blogging site after all, so users are looking for content they enjoy, not spammy self-promotion. In general, posts that perform well for brands are image memes, animated GIFs, inspirational quotes, and retro packaging and advertisements.
Of course you need to link to your own products and promote your brand, but do so in a way that is natural, fun, and personal to users in order to get the most bang for your buck on the site.
While you’re browsing around brands on Tumblr looking for inspiration for your own brand, be sure to check out Quality Logo Products® on Tumblr!
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